Collecting Post Cereal Baseball Cards 1960-1963
Post Cereal jumped into the sports cards business in 1960 and for four years produced some cards that remain some of the most popular older food issue collectibles.
The breakfast cereal wars were in full bloom by 1960. Competition among the major brands led to all sorts of promotions. One that caught the eye of baseball fans in the early part of the decade were the baseball cards issued by Post Cereal.
Post's entry into cards began in 1960 when the company tried to increase sales of it's Grape Nuts cereal by putting player pictures on the backs of the boxes. In fact, the cards took up the entire back of the box and were more like portraits. There were actually only 5 baseball players in the nine-card set. Don Drysdale, Al Kaline, Harmon Killebrew, Ed Mathews and Mickey Mantle joined basketball's Bob Cousy and Bob Petit and football's Frank Gifford and John Unitas in the set. The cards are colorful, attractive and quite rare. Mantle can sell for $1000 and up depending on condition while the others go in the $200-400 range.
In 1961, the company created a 200-card set of standard sized cards. About ten of the cards were issued on less popular brands and were made in smaller quantities, making them scarce. Cards were also available on a mail-in offer. These cards can be detected by cardboard thinner than the regular cereal-issued set. The complete '61 Post set sells for $900-1800 today.
In '62, the company returned with another 200 card set. Similar to the first issue but with only a handful oif rare cards. A complete'62 set is valued at between $750 and $1500. Willie McCovey and Mickey Mantle are the two most valuable cards in the set, valued at $50-75 each.
1963 would be POst's final issue. It's also the most difficult to complete. As many as 25 cards were made in lesser quantities. Bob Aspromonte, #187 is especially difficult as is #80, Carl Yastrzemski. The complete set is valued at $1950-3900 according to the Standard Catalog of Baseball cards.